How hackers made my day…

Something very fishy was happening with my yahoo email account…..  My phone kept showing “incorrect password… verification failed”  over – and  over- and over – …

detective

I don’t consider myself easily alarmed so this sort of thing frightened me a little.  I went to the setting on my phone and erased my yahoo account from there.  I guess I thought it was just the phone access point that hackers were trying to breach.

Ohhhhh –  how wrong was I….     password

So needless to say, about a month later – just long enough for whomever to run their non-stop cryptography programs – EVERYONE in my yahoo address book received an email which described me as robbed and stranded in Kasigstan or Stochlinoyevski

or Kiev,                       tanks

 

needing $2,750.20.  Now, trust me, it’s not that I don’t want to visit what are probably utterly beautiful and exotic (for me) lands, far far away.

kiev cycles

 

BUT… I’m not there right now, and I wasn’t then.  No one robbed me, or kidnapped me and I don’t know why I would need the extra 0.20 cents,

flying dollarsthough I’m reasonably certain I could find a way to put the $2,750 to good use……….

Truly worse than the email was the outcome of the hackers stealing my entire address book, my “sent” files, and basically rendering my email useless.  I was incapable of not only warning everyone but I also was no longer receiving emails or able to operate from the program at all.  I was lost in an strange universe.  A dimension unknown to me…

alien world  or perhaps just a part of south Florida I had not yet visited….

Fortunately my back up email was untouched and I quickly changed the passwords to every account I own.  Which – by the way – needs to be over 15 characters long, include one or more capitals, make a few of them numbers, at least one unusual character, no spaces… in case you’re interested in protecting your own email (and other) accounts.

security

I don’t know what other fallout there will be from the incident, but if I may say, the violation, embarrassment and frustration I felt couldn’t come close to the amazing recognition and awareness of my friendships!!!  I must have received what seemed like HUNDREDS of phone calls, texts and one-on-one warnings that my email was compromised and that they would still be happy to help me out if I were in fact in Kiev and in trouble….

rescue

I can’t tell you how uplifting it is to have a hacker poll your address book and tell you who your friends are….

Thanks everyone,

(Not…) From Russia with Love,

!FR001EH Film From Russia With Love

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About michellenihei

Bachelor of Science, University of Saskatchewan Diplomate in Veterinary Science, University of Saskatchewan Master of Science, University of Saskatchewan Doctor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky Post-Doctoral and Jr. Faculty, Johns Hopkins University, MD Assistant trainer to Christopher Speckert, Rebecca Maker, Todd Pletcher Independent business owner and racehorse trainer; StabelLab Evangelist
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4 Responses to How hackers made my day…

  1. tom says:

    I got the Kiev e-mail on7/31 but had seen you in Saratoga….did the hackers also infect any of your contacts? did you keep Ashado in your handle?

    • yes…sorry about that…. no one I know or have email addresses for has mentioned being hacked, nor have I received any Kiev-related emails for anyone else so, not that I know of. Handle is same except now a gmail address.

  2. Amy Gill says:

    Crazy stuff but I love your blog post….made me chuckle..

  3. I admire your way of looking at the situation! I’m glad you were able to get everything sorted out. I’ve only ever had one e-mail address get hacked. I don’t really know what happened to that account. Somewhere out there is a ‘Nigerian Prince’ pretending to be me, I’m sure.

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